The Business of Emotion: How Selling Experiences Can Sell More

September 13, 2021
marketing plan

Compare marketing materials from thirty years ago to those that belong in the 21st century. The difference is noticeable: back then, blocks of text describing what a product or service does and why it’s worth the budget litter every billboard and newspaper ad. However, the ads of today barely contain any information. Just a picture of the product or a quick description of their services.

This difference in style is by no means a minor trend; it’s a purely intentional and strategic decision to show less. The main difference is, back then, a product was being sold. Today, an experience is being sold. It’s not just a matter of buying a computer with particular specifications. Now you’re buying the experience of using the said computer. Even in the car industry, it’s less about horsepower and more about the driving experience.

But why is selling an “experience” so effective, and what makes it different from traditional selling tactics? Below is a quick discussion of how businesses sell an emotional experience and how you can implement it in your business.

Emotion Is Among the Strongest Motivators

Businesses nowadays are putting more effort into making their customer experience better and improving their overall reputation. And in turn, their clients and customers become loyal, looking forward to their services and new product releases. The logic is simple; our emotions are powerful motivators. Emotions affect our base instincts and decisions. When a product or a service can meet an emotional need, the target segment becomes more drawn to it as a result.

That’s why businesses take extra steps to appeal to this emotional hook. Major companies and brands commission custom injection-molded products (like combs, keychains, or even figurines) or statement T-shirts for their limited-edition releases. Even luxury brands from a specific industry are branching out to other markets, extending their brand names.

Take, for example, a popular clothing brand Supreme. Not only do they offer clothes, but they also offer various culturally relevant items that solidify their brand and please their demographic.

Customer Experience Is Your Brand

Your brand defines your business from the look of your shop or website to your company’s philosophy and even how the customer experiences your services. Everything will all fall to branding, and that’s why you should always think about the emotional aspects of sales. Customer experience should always reflect your brand. If you want a business accessible to people of all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, the customer experience should reflect this. Your business should be welcoming regardless, with emphasis on reaching out to clients. If you’re looking to be more exclusive with your services, providing a sophisticated customer experience will solidify that.

Pleasant Experiences Always Merit Repeating

It goes without saying that when an emotional need is met, it’s a pleasant experience. And if an experience is pleasant, people are more likely to look for it again. This is who you create repeat customers: provide an experience that they enjoy, and they will go back to you.

Disney is a great example of this. Both Disney the media products and their theme park offer a unique experience, one that’s rooted in basic human emotions. Because these potent emotions draw people in and make them like what they’re feeling, people tend to patronize their newest releases. Disneyland is known for its top-tier customer experience, and they’ve become a cultural force when providing a “dream-like” experience.

Competition Today Is on a Different Level

The inevitable truth is that you’re not the only company selling a product or offering a service. There are most likely a hundred more companies like you. You need to find something that sets you apart from the rest. A one of a kind experience is something that can make you look unique and stand out from the crowd.

Take, for example, the highly successful Japanese retail store mega-chain Don Quijote. They’re a retail store, one out of the hundreds available in the highly competitive market of Japan. But through their unique customer experience, they’re able to offer something entirely different, something that their competitors cannot provide. It’s the experience of buying something from the store itself that they’re selling. This small subtlety provides them a competitive edge over other businesses.

Modern businesses are constantly evolving, adapting to cultural changes and technological innovations. And with customer experience and satisfaction at the forefront, clients and consumers can expect better and more competitive offerings. Statistics regarding this trend show no signs of stopping, and we will definitely see more of it in the future.

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